Aleppo, nicknamed Ash-Shahbaa, is a beautiful and ancient city with a history that goes back to at least 5000 BC. The modern city still radiates from its ancient center, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in recognition of the vast array of mansions, markets – known as souqs – and ancient caravanserais that visitors to the city can feast their eyes on. Living in Aleppo, you will have plenty of incredible history and architecture to discover, but the modern city of around two million has a vast contemporary culture to offer as well. The city was named Islamic Capital of Culture in 2006 and has in recent times been experiencing a resurgence of international interest. It's not hard to understand why – sights including a 13th century citadel and souqs, selling an incredible array of trade in gold, silver, fabric, soaps and pretty much everything else, make Aleppo a fascinating city with a rich history and vivid culture.
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As a key city in the region, Aleppo has seen empires come and go over the centuries, so its people are no strangers to new faces. Despite a tumultuous past, though, the community here has retained an identity and culture that you'll find surprisingly modern and contemporary. Expats moving to Aleppo can find plenty of information and advice in the Expat Magazine, our collection of articles dealing with everything from expat insurance and finance to cultural shock and coping with cross-cultural communication. InterNations' website also has a good amount of content created by our members, and browsing this is often a great way to get on-the-ground insights into the ups and downs of moving to a city like Aleppo. There is no denying that the culture, climate and recent history of this city are a lot to take in at once, and InterNations is there to make your transition as smooth and relaxed as possible.
This is a city that has seen many attempts to reinvent and modernize it, some causing some serious historical and social damage. But since its declaration as a World Heritage Site, city authorities have got a lot better at balancing the need to preserve the city's unique ancient heart with growing a modern, dynamic economy; expatriates will discover a city that's one of the fastest growing in the country. Expats in Aleppo also tend to find the semi-arid climate quite intense. You may well find yourself looking for the expatriate community, and InterNations discussion groups, forums and private communications are the easiest way to get in touch with global minds and organize meet-ups. In such an intense, beguiling city, getting to know the international community is something you may have to work to find the time for, but InterNations will make it an easy and enjoyable search. And in this growing city, the chances are you'll have found an expatriate network before long.